Skip to main content
NUL 01 03 23 Dudson Museum 1 1

Newcastle College students collaborate with the Dudson Museum

Artwork created by students studying the BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media Practice will have their original work displayed alongside some historic examples of Dudson ceramics as part of a series of brand new exhibitions.

Working collaboratively with the Dudson Museum, the students’ work will appear in the first of a new programme of displays with the inaugural theme being ‘Broken and Beautiful’.

Selected pieces of Dudson ceramics will be shown alongside contemporary artworks created by the Level 3 students after they were tasked with reimagining the 200-year-old pottery following a visit to the museum having been invited by Dudson Museum Events and Fundraising Co-ordinator, Deborah Nicklin.

She said: “The students visited in early March where they were given a short presentation, access to artefacts that are very rarely seen by the public and a set of creative tasks to complete during the day in order to produce a portfolio of work and artworks that could be displayed alongside the ceramics.

“The students were able to view the collection of showcased ceramics but also the abundant collection of shards which were excavated onsite, donated and collected from other sources.

“Fragments of pottery, or ‘shards’ offer a glimpse into what a full pot, vase or figure might have looked like - but without the other sections as a reference, the shard remains a fascinating mystery, giving the viewer free-reign to imagine for themselves the significance of that piece, its origins, it’s purpose and true shape, if it were complete.”

The shards, which were found during excavations at the Dudson Museum in the 1990’s, formed the basis of the student project, though they also explored shape, reflections, shadows in the building, the architecture, the ambience and environment in which they were viewing the objects.

Students were further challenged to juxtapose the visual information from the museum with their own imported influence by listening to music on headphones whilst photographing, recording and drawing with innovative results from the artists ranging from illustration, textiles, 3d design in jewellery, games design and digital art.

Cheryl Smith, Curriculum Leader in BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media Practice at Newcastle College, said: “Broken and Beautiful has been an excellent opportunity for our students to engage in a live brief inspired by the rich and creative history of the pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent.

“This brief has provided students with valuable experience of independent project management, development of communication skills and producing work to a professional standard for public display. These are essential skills in the creative sector, which they can carry forward into their future industry practice.”

Costume Design Specialist, Evae Todd is studying the BTEC Foundation Diploma in Art, Design and Media Practice and took part in the exhibition. She said: “Learning about the history of Dudson ceramics has been an incredibly interesting and enriching experience that has helped me engage with my BTEC Foundation Diploma final project.

“I created a wide range of sketches and responses to the shards provided and found that the Dudson Museum, being an external location different to my normal study space, created refreshing insight into my experimentation and learning about Dudson’s history through engaging lectures, helped me to expand my creativity in new ways.

“The experience also allowed me to engage with time frames providing me with opportunities to develop communication throughout my work which has really allowed my creativity to flourish.”

The student’s work will be showcased during the ‘Broken and Beautiful’ exhibition, launching at the Dudson Museum’s Spring Makers Fair on Saturday 25 March from 10am – 3pm, and will run to 13 July 2023. The Dudson Museum is open Monday to Friday 10am – 3pm.